Keynote Tips

20+ Keynote Tips to Deliver an Outstanding Presentation – UPDATED

Apple Keynote Tips

Updated on 27th March 2021

If you have a Mac or work with the iWork productivity suite, then you must already be familiar with Keynote. The tool is developed by Apple to enable users to create visually appealing presentations pretty easily. In the world of PowerPoint and Google Slides, you can simply stand out by taking the assistance of Keynote.

To help you achieve the same, we have come up with this informative guide. Keynote allows us to include numerous themes in a single presentation and control the slideshow remotely. Read on and learn how to draft a stunning Keynote presentation by implementing these suggestions.

1. Make Fast Edits with Master Slides

Many times, we make a lot of effort to edit each slide separately when we need to apply an identical change everywhere. This is exactly when a master slide can help you. Any change on the master slide will automatically be reflected in the entire presentation.

You can go to the Keynote toolbar and click on the “+” button. From here, you can add a master slide and later place it wherever you want. Modify the master slide as per your needs and click the “Done” button on the slide canvas to apply these changes. Furthermore, you can go to View > Guides > Show/Hide Master Slides to make the master slide visible (or invisible) to your viewers.

Master Slides in Keynote

2. Set Ruler and Alignment Guides

Too often, users find it hard to create a uniformly designed presentation. To make sure that all the slides look symmetric, you can set ruler and alignment preferences for Keynote. Simply go to Keynote Preferences > Rulers to access this feature. You can set rulers in inches, cm, points, etc. This will also let you know how the page will look after getting printed.

Set Ruler

Afterward, whenever you place an object outside the ruler, you will be notified. Designers usually set ruler ratio in percentage to make sure everything is uniformly placed. The overall design can further be improved with the Alignment guide. You can view alignment related to the canvas center, edges, relative sizing, and relative spacing. The feature can also help you divide your canvas to design it in a better manner.

Ruler in Keynote

Once the designing is finished, you can get rid of guides by visiting View > Guides and selecting “Clear All Guides”.

3. Add a Magic Move Transition

Apple has certainly worked on minute details while developing Keynote. One of the best ways for transitioning from one slide to another is by adding a parallax-like effect. This can be implemented by using the Magic Move transition. It also makes our presentation more interactive and appealing.

In order to attain the magic move transition, you need to duplicate the slide and rearrange the elements. While it might seem a little tedious in the beginning, you can surely master it in no time. Here is an informative tutorial that can help you add the magic move transition to your presentation.

4. Use Animations for Transition

Another cool way of transitioning between different slides can be done by adding animations. Keynote has tons of animations that can readily be used. You can also copy and paste animations or format them easily. Though, to make your presentation look uniform, you should use a single animation for every transition (even when you would be tempted to use all of them).

Select any slide and go to its sidebar. In the Animate section, you can choose to add effects for the transitioning of the slide.

Animation Effect

You can also go to the Format menu to copy and paste the animation on a slide. Keynote fully supports all the major types of animations and will let you work on them freely.

Copy Animation

5. Play with Themes

Keynote has got tons of advanced features to make your slides visually stunning. If the presentation is pretty lengthy, then your audience can lose their interest in between. To avoid this, you can categorize your presentation by applying different themes. If you want, then you can have a different theme for every slide.

There are several options for themes that Keynote provides. Simply select the slide and click on the “Change Theme” option. Though, you need to make sure that the presentation doesn’t have any master slide to apply different themes.

Change Theme

6. Edit Videos without Using Any Other Tool

We all know that almost all the popular presentation tools support videos. Though, you can only add videos in most of these tools and can’t edit them as per your requirements. Thankfully, Keynote can help you make small edits in the imported videos to let you save your time. Simply select the video and go to its sidebar. From here, you can set the start and end time for the video, trim it, change the poster image, and do so much more.

Edit Videos

You can even make some amazing video edits by using Keynote’s native interface. For instance, did you know that you can create a video overlay effect using Keynote? Have a look at this tutorial to learn the same.

7. Work on Pre-designed Templates

If you want to make sure that your audience would remember your Keynote presentation for a long time, then take the assistance of professionally-designed templates. You can easily alter these HD templates and work on a remarkable presentation without investing your precious time. SketchBubble has a wide range of Keynote templates that are designed by experts and are easy to edit and deploy.

8. Include Stunning Charts and Graphs

Keynote also provides a fast and hassle-free way to add aesthetically-pleasing charts and graphs on any slide. You can access the feature from the “Charts” option on the toolbar and choose to add 2D, 3D, or interactive charts. Later, you can edit the chart or alter it as per the provided data.

Include charts and graphs

If you want to create donut pie charts that are unlike those run-of-the-mill pie charts, then you should go through this quick tutorial.

9. Export Keynote to Different Formats

Since not everyone out there uses Keynote, you might need to convert your document to different formats. This will also let you run your Keynote presentation on other systems that don’t have the software installed. To do this, simply go to File > Export and select the target format. You can export your Keynote file to a PowerPoint, PDF, HTML, and a few other formats.

Export Option

10. Outline Your Presentation with Zero Distractions

Every artist knows that creativity can strike anytime. Chances are that you might think of a brilliant idea while working on a project. Keynote has an Outline Mode that can let you write pointers quickly without any distraction related to designing. The interface has four viewing modes. The navigator mode is the default one that lets you design a Keynote presentation and add your content.

Though, you can change it by visiting the View option and selecting the Outline mode. The interface will be changed instantly, letting you add pointers and the outline of the document that can later be used for reference.

Outline your presentation

11. Record Slideshow for Playback

If you own a YouTube channel or are making a presentation for educational purpose, then this trick will be of great use to you. All you need to do is visit Play > Record Slideshow to start recording. The interface will alter a bit and start recording the slideshow of the presentation. You can stop it anytime you want. As you stop it, the red recording icon will be disabled.

Record Slideshow

Furthermore, you can customize the recording as well and make some changes. Before you start recording, go to Play > Customize Presenter Display. From here, you can change the layout, timer, and make other adjustments. By default, the inbuilt microphone of your computer would be used. To change (or test) it, you can go to System Preferences > Sound.

12. Control the Slideshow Remotely

This trick will certainly impress your audience and let you control your presentation from your fingertips. If you have Keynote 6.1 (or later versions) on your Mac, then you can use your iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad) to control your presentation remotely. To do this, launch Keynote on both the devices and make sure they are wirelessly connected. Now, go to the Preferences option on your Mac’s Keynote. Under the “Remotes” option, you can choose to link your iOS device.

Control the slideshow remotely

A one-time code would be generated that needs to be verified to build a secure connection. Once the iOS device is connected, you can use it as a remote control to play the presentation and switch between different slides.

Besides controlling the flow of the presentation, you can also make annotations, doodles, and marks that would be reflected on a real-time basis.

Edit Remotely

13. Customize Your Toolbar

As you can see, Apple Keynote is an extremely resourceful application that offers a wide range of features. To be honest, sometimes these features can be a bit overwhelming and you can end up spending a lot of time just to navigate the interface. If you wish to save your time, then consider putting a personal touch to the toolbar. Just go to View > Customize Toolbar to get a list of all sorts of actions that you can perform. Now, select the features that you wish to add to your toolbar as shortcuts to customize it.

Customize Toolbar

14. Interlink Different Slides

This has to be one of the most interesting Apple Keynote tips that you would love to explore. The application lets us make any object into an action button. That is, when we would click on the action button, it can directly jump to a designated slide. To do this, just select any object and press Command + K to get various options to link it.

Interlink Slides

In this way, you can link the present slide with the first, last, or any other specific slide. You can even include multiple action buttons in a single slide, according to your presentation needs.

15. Change Fonts in the Entire Presentation

While drafting a Keynote presentation, I always struggle with picking the perfect font. If you also encounter the same issue, then this would be one of the best Apple Keynote design tips for you. The application lets you pick a font and implement it in the entire presentation with a single click. Once you make the relevant changes in the font, click on the “Update” button. This will automatically change the formatting of the other similar objects as well. For instance, if a change is made in the title, it will also modify other titles of the Keynote.

Change Fonts

16. Broadcast Your Keynote Presentation

If you wish to target a wide range of audience, then this would be one of the most resourceful Apple Keynote tips for you. A while back, Apple has added the Keynote Live feature to broadcast its slideshows. Anyone can view your presentation on a Mac, iOS device, or via To access it, just visit the Keynote Live option on the application. This will launch a dedicated wizard that would help you set up Keynote Live to give a live slideshow to your audience.

Keynote Live

Once your Keynote Live presentation is ready, Apple will give you several options to invite your audience. For instance, you can mail/message them the link or even share it on social media.


17. Collaborate with Others

If you are working in a team, then this would be one of the most useful Apple Keynote tips. Just like most of the other presentation platforms, Keynote also lets us work in a team. If you wish to invite others to work with you, just click on the Collaborate icon at the top of the interface. From here, you can get different options to send the invite to others. You can send them individual emails, messages, or just share a link that they can access to collaborate.  You can easily collaborate through both – iCloud or Mac.


18. Use Keynote on iCloud

Let’s be honest – Keynote is not the most popular presentation tool out there. The good thing is that apart from platforms like Mac and iOS, Keynote can also be accessed on iCloud’s official website. Just log-in to your iCloud account and access the “Keynote” feature from its home. This will let you import Keynote presentations or work on a new document from scratch. While it can’t substitute the extensive features of the desktop application available for Mac, it will certainly let you access all the basic functions of the tool. Additionally, your presentation will be saved on iCloud that you can access anytime you want.

Use on iCloud

Recently Updated Tips

19. Use Presenter Notes to Plan Your Presentation

Keynote comes with various incredible features to enhance your speaking during the presentation. Presenter Notes is one such feature that lets you add detailed notes (keywords, statistics, facts, outline, etc.) for each slide. Go to View > Show Presenter Notes. You can use it as your speaking cue tool.

Keynote Presenter Notes

20. Secure Your Presentation to Make it Password-Protected

If you want to make your presentation visible only to the selected participants, secure it with a password. For this, go to the File > Set Password. Then, fill in the required information and click Set Password.

Important Note: You can’t recover the password if you forget it, so note it down in a safe place. However, if your computer supports Touch ID, you can open the presentation with your fingerprint.

Learn more in this tutorial:

21. Transfer Your Presentation Between Devices

You can transfer your keynote presentation to a nearby Mac, iPhone, or iPad via AirDrop or Handoff.

  • Via AirDrop 

AirDrop enables users to transfer files from one Mac to another without using an external storage device or email. This transfer doesn’t use a local Wi-Fi network or the Internet; it uses Bluetooth to create a connection. One important point to note here is, AirDrop only works with devices that are within 30 feet or 10 meters.

Learn more through this video:

  • Via Handoff 

The Handoff feature of iOS and macOS lets you use a Universal Clipboard to copy images, text, or files between your Apple devices. You can use it to copy and paste images and text between documents while working with two or more devices. This way, you can also transfer entire files.

Watch this video to learn more:

We are sure that after getting to know about these Keynote hacks and tricks – you would certainly be able to use this incredible tool at its best. If you are familiar with some other expert Keynote tips that our readers should know, then feel free to drop a comment below and share your feedback with the rest of us.

Leave a Response

7 − 4 =